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More than $25 mil approved to fund parks throughout the Coachella Valley

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) announced that more than $44 million is coming to parks throughout the 56th Assembly District, with more than half going to Coachella Valley cities.

The funding comes from Proposition 68, State of California Parks and Water Bond 2018, which was authored by Garcia in 2017.

Cities and communities earned the funding by applying to the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program (SPP). The program grants funds for new parks in critically underserved neighborhoods. It is the largest park-related grant program in California’s history and possibly U.S. history.

“We are proud to deliver this historic $44.2 million investment for park projects across our district. Increasing access to parks and safe recreational spaces has the power to transform and uplift our communities. We appreciate all our local municipalities for applying and staying persistent with us throughout this process. These dollars will significantly impact and hopefully spark joy for our Imperial County and the Coachella Valley families. Parks are the gifts that keep on giving with benefits ranging from health, public safety, education and so much more. We celebrate this victory, but remain focused on what comes next and how we can bring even more resources to our district"

- Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, joint author of Proposition 68 and Chair of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife.

The cities of Cathedral City, Coachella, Indio, and the community of Thermal will each get millions to build new parks. Some of these we covered a few years ago, when cities were looking for community input in what to add.

City of Cathedral City — Dream Homes Park $8,498,000

The Dream Homes park will be 7.52-acre. There will be two new playgrounds with shade, a soccer/multi-use field, a soccer field, a futsal field with lighting, two basketball courts with lighting, a fitness station with shade, a central plaza, dog park with small and large dog areas, five covered picnic/BBQ areas, walking trails, restroom, two parking lots with lighting, perimeter fencing, with lighting and landscaping throughout the park.

Check Out: Community input wanted on proposed Dream Homes Park (May 2019)

City of Coachella — Central Park $8,454,600

The new Central Park in Coachella will be a nearly five-acre park on Avenue 52. The park will a playground with shade, splash pad, multi-purpose pavilion with restrooms, walking path, botanical/community garden, multi-purpose court, fitness area with shade, three picnic areas with shade and BBQ's, multi-use field, perimeter fence, with lighting and landscaping throughout the park.

City of Indio — Indio New Sports Park $8,500,000

The new Indio Sports Park will be a 31-acre park built west of Jackson St. between Ave. 44 and Market St.

The park will have two baseball fields with lighting, four soccer fields with lighting, one football field, seven open playfields with lighting, a parking lot with lighting, restroom/concessions building, eight shade structures on sports fields, two shade structures, five picnic areas with shade, public art, walking pathways with lighting, with landscaping and lighting throughout the park.

Check Out: Indio officials asking for public input on proposed sports park

Desert Recreation District — Thermal Park Project $4,500,000

Thermal will get a five-acre park that will be built between Church Street and Olive Street in Thermal, across the street from the Jerry Rummonds Senior and Community Center. It will have a new playground, jungle gym, tennis courts, basketball court, baseball field, soccer field, three picnic areas, splash pad, garden, lighting throughout the park, restroom with snack bar, and landscaping throughout the park.

According to Supervisor Manuel Perez's office, the Desert Recreation District is seeking to acquire five additional acres to make it a 10‑acre park.

“This is a major victory for the community of Thermal! This is exciting to receive this funding to develop the first park for Thermal. This community park is much needed, as the nearest parks to Thermal are currently in the City of Coachella or six miles southeast in Mecca. These funds are a wonderful investment in the quality of life and health of our community," Perez said.

This will be the first-ever park built in Thermal, according to Perez's office.

Additional funding went to other cities and communities throughout the 56th Assembly District.

This was round 4 of the SPP selection process. Statewide, 468 project applications were submitted requesting $2.42 billion for the available $548.3 million.

Last year, the 56th Assembly District received $15 million from the program for Mecca, Calexico, and Heber.

The 56th Assembly District comprises a number of cities and unincorporated communities in eastern Riverside County and Imperial County, including Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.

Jesus Reyes

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